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10 Feb 2020 | 04:48 AM UTC

Lebanon: Government quarantines arrivals from China February 9

Lebanese Ministry of Health states that arrivals from China will be quarantined February 9; follow government directives

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Event

On Sunday, February 9, the Lebanese Ministry of Health announced that all arrivals from China will be placed under home quarantine due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The announcement also stated that screening tests and isolation rooms were prepared at the Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut. It is not clear whether this policy exclusively applies to travelers entering Lebanon directly from China or if it includes those with recent travels to China.

No coronavirus cases have been recorded in Lebanon.

Further international spread of the 2019-nCoV virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks. 

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 25 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern." Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing.

Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries and consider rebooking options, if needed, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.